Jan 13, 2013
Do you know what your business has in common with every other business on the planet?
Here is a hint. It is you.
No, I’m not saying that you are part of every business on the planet, but what I am saying is that you and every other person in an organization are all human.
Simple enough right?
Ironically it is this commonality that makes our organizations so complex rather than so simple. Mostly because while we are all human, we are all very different. However, I am yet to meet a person that doesn’t seek emotional connection. To their family, friends, significant others AND their organizations. It is this emotional connection that drives us in our lives and careers.
So to succeed in leadership, we MUST connect emotionally. But we must also continue to make decisions rationally. To do both of these things is an art and a science that can make all the difference for your business.
Connect Emotionally: I think there has been a long standing “unwritten” rule that management needs to keep its distance from the people and its focus on the metrics. Well guess what? KPIs, Performance Reviews and Staff Meetings do not drive results; People do. All of those metrics and events are merely mediums to monitor, analyze or discuss the process. And since execution is up to the people, we as leaders better figure out how to connect emotionally and here is why.
The emotional connection is how the members of an organization are able to internalize the vision and mission of the organization; those higher level objectives that drive the day-to-day. Employees, whether part of management or the “Rank-in-file” will give more to an organization where they feel connected. Most simply put, this is exactly the same as a persons contribution to any relationship. Think about what you are willing to give when you are emotionally connected vs. when you are not.
The challenge is when you connect emotionally, it becomes more difficult to see clearly when making business decisions. Especially decisions about those peoples in which you are connected. But this is key to successful leadership.
Decide Rationally: To make rational decisions it forces us as leaders to take all information into consideration. With the overload of information that we often face today it has become harder and harder to make even simple decisions. This “Analysis by Paralysis” is especially troublesome because organizations need to be decisive. You as the leader are no different. You have to decide and it cannot be driven by emotion.
This may seem counterintuitive to what I said above about connecting emotionally. Leading to questions like why wouldn’t I take my emotions into decision making. The bottom line is no matter how rational you think you are being, you will allow a certain amount of emotion to enter into your decision. That is what I call the “Emotional Threshold,” or the exact amount that should be used in making a call. The rest should be made using all of that data and analysis that you are doing to measure company results.
Balancing Emotional/Rational Leadership: To connect is human. Can we all agree with that? We need to accept the fact that people within organizations will aspire to connect and be inspired by that connection. Can we also agree that the emotional connection that we feel toward others blurs our vision? If we can agree on that then we can draw a soft line in the sand there and say that the rational leadership has to come into play when making important business decisions.
While the emotional and rational parts of our brain rarely work together in parallel, it is the ability to be human that will drive the best results from your people and the ability to be rational that will drive the best results for the organization.
In this short video we look into the link between emotional intelligence and rational decision making.